As several companies near the intersection of Highway 280 and University Avenue Southeast are considering the future of their properties, the area will likely undergo significant changes within the next few years. Proper redevelopment of the area is, of course, overdue, as much of the land is underused as parking lots and warehouse space. However, the area has enormous potential to serve as a link between our Twin Cities.
There have been rumors of building office or residential towers, although none have been substantiated. Most likely, the area will be redeveloped with mixed-use projects, incorporating office space and residential units. Developers and neighborhood associations should prioritize a pedestrian University Avenue, the preservation of historic neighborhoods and some urban-designs element illustrating the area’s significance as a link between Minneapolis and St. Paul, both University campuses and two well-preserved urban neighborhoods — Prospect Park in Minneapolis and south St. Anthony Park in St. Paul.
As University Avenue Southeast undergoes redevelopment — hopefully into a broad pedestrian-oriented boulevard descending into the city — this intersection at the top of the hill deserves careful redevelopment to realize its potential. The most important juncture of the two cities needs to be recognized.